Friday, August 6, 2010

How to make an IM

Making norms in an open tournament is difficult. You need to play some high rated players who are all out to beat you in order to get a decent prize. This is why making a norm in the Malaysian Open (or any open) is so difficult.

Actually it is not difficult at all if you arrange things properly. The trick is probably not to offer any prizes. This way the top players have no incentive to try too hard to win. Of course you have to give them appearance fees to make it worth their while.

The composition of the tournament is very important. You want to have some high rated guys to make the norm reasonably easy. Throw in a few lower rateds - their job is to provide some free points for those seeking norm possibilities.

Recently Brunei organized title tournaments with IM norms possibility. Since the players are already there, why organize one when you can have two? The logic is unquestionable. The two tournaments were very successful in that four IM norms were achieved.

Irene Sukandar Kharisma benefitted the most as she achieved the IM (Men) norm in both tournaments. India's Ramnath Bhuvanesh achieved his final norm in the second tournament. Brunei also struck gold in the second tournament when Yee Soon Wei made his first norm. This is Brunei's first ever International Master norm.

If you look at the crosstable for the 2nd tournament you will see how easy it is. The norm is 6.5 points. Now you need to get four points from the bottom four - easy for any IM aspirant. Essentially it becomes a six man tournament. That leaves another 2.5 points which you need to get from the remaining five players - not too difficult, just avoid losing. Ramnath Bhuvanesh even exceeded this when he beat second placed Irine. Incidentally, I played him in the Malaysian Open in 2007 when he was just fourteen years old. He had an overwhelmingly winning position. I could have resigned on his next move, except he played a horrible blunder which lost for him. Another Indian youngster I played was Srinath Narayanan in the 2006 Malaysian Open who went on to achieve the IM title.

It is time for MCF to try something similar. After all we already have a resident GM and four IMs in the country.


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